Submitted by: Ulbe Jelluma 23/11/2016
Within the advertising industry print media, TV, radio and cinema are often referred to as ‘traditional media’. As with TV major innovations are also taking place in the print media industry. Some of these innovations have to do with the paper itself, others with the improvement of the consumer experience with print media.
When it comes to innovations one of the most challenging is to replace the substrate of print media: paper. Innovations deal for example with re-use of paper.
1. Create more engagement in newspapers
A newspaper in Saudi Arabia, Al-Jazirah, launched an innovation project based upon the idea that advertisers want to tell the full story in a print publication. Therefore various innovative initiatives were taken, which as such exist already in the market, but not yet offered by one single newspaper.
The innovations include a double gate fold, also called a mega-panorama ‘monster’ ad; a unique fifth colour - CMYK plus silver, gold, fluorescent colour or pantone spot colour; signature scent with a rub-to-experience engagement; die cutting; perforation and AdvertSticker, a sticker than can be placed anywhere in the newspaper and that can be peeled-off. All of these added value techniques allow agencies and advertisers to make their ads stand out more and increase the engagement with the readers.
2. Newspapers delivery in India
When travelling through India I noticed that newspapers are extremely cheap, less than €0,10. When talking with newspaper marketers in Calcutta it became clear that distribution in this enormous country is key. When newspapers are not delivered at the various collection points before 06:00 in the morning, the value of the newspaper is determined by the price of waste paper, as it will be almost impossible to get them in time into the city to the vendors. The Times of India therefore launched a project called Project Sunrise. The aim of this project is to deliver newspapers before the sun rises. The idea behind this project is described as “In the morning when people wake up they don’t reach for their mobile phone, but for their newspaper at the door”. This seems like a major challenge .
3. Printing on the long and short sides of publications and books
HP introduced recently Edge Printing, the first printer that can print the edges of a book (foredge, head or foot edges). Printing each sheet separately with an image will make a book more luxurious and exclusive. The spine of the book can also be printed, when using different images for the spine an interest effect can be obtained when all the books are put next to each other.
4. Virtual Reality print advertisements
Connected print has become a term describing print media that use so-called ‘bridging technologies’ to make a connection between offline and online. With the increasing interest in Virtual Reality, HTC developed a headset for print media. Like QR codes and Augmented Reality a code or mark in the newspaper or print publication will make a connection with a reader in a HTC headset. This will allow the reader to engage in Augmented Reality advertisements. Vivepaper, as the HTC app is called, lets users peruse a virtual magazine. Conde Nast Traveller in China is launching Vivepaper with 360 degree video. The app combines the physicality of paper with a very strong visual engagement.
5. Eco-friendly rewritable paper
Researchers at the Shandong University in China developed an ink-free rewritable medium. However by its description it doesn’t sound like that within the foreseeable future we will be using this. The researchers develop a flexible and photo-rewritable membrane of low-toxicity tungsten oxide with polyvinyl pyrrolidone. High resolution images can be photo printed and erased up to 40 cycles. Printing is done by exposing the material for 30 seconds to ultraviolet light. When the material remains in ambient conditions for two days the ‘print’ is erased.
6. Re-use of paper printed with laser printer
The Israeli company REEP developed a closed systems whereby paper can be reused several times. The application is most beneficial for offices. Office documents that are printed with a laser (no inkjet) printer on specially developed paper can be scanned and content be uploaded to the Cloud, prior to being de-inked. The ‘clean’ paper can than be used again contributing to the circular economy.